View from the Lake – Updated

View from the Lake – Updated

Our annual sojourn to Lake Winnipesaukee is underway. It occurs to me I have

Sunset from Tuftonboro

Sunset from Tuftonboro

amassed many stories and listened to others’ tell their experiences about this magical place – my happy place.

Since the author of the splendid piece – who I gave credit to in the earlier version of this post – does not want his story told, I update this post today to share a few words about bucolic Lake Winnipesaukee.

Everyone should have a place in this world where they feel true happiness; whether it’s relaxing with a beverage on your back patio or on a white, sand beach somewhere – happiness is a fleeting commodity.

Author; from Abenaki Tower with view of Lake Winnipesaukee

Author; from Abenaki Tower with view of Lake Winnipesaukee

Now that we’ve been home for three weeks, my perspective is every so clear: life will be better, happier, more content with long stays living by (or near) the lake.

During our two weeks this year, I enjoyed a vacation schedule with some work continuing. My husband and I have home offices; even though we were by the lake, we created a ‘home’ office in our vacation house which included a table, chairs, our computers and solid internet connection. During times when we had to get some work done, the view was spectacular. Work time motored along. We were rewarded for our efforts by being able to step into the boat and onto the lake.

The Post boys jumping from the amazing rock off Moultonborough, NH

The Post boys jumping from the amazing rock off Moultonborough, NH.

My gym time – normally two or three mornings a week – was not interrupted on vacation. I joined the local gym in Wolfeboro for two weeks (at $25 -it was a huge bargain) and kept to my routine. That routine was supplemented  by the short walk up to Abenaki Tower with a view that hugs your mind and soul.

Breskin, Kardon and Friedman families in NH - courtesy Sean Kardon

Breskin, Kardon and Friedman families in NH – courtesy Sean Kardon

While making the move to New Hampshire will be a process; the goal will be to choose a home and site that will fill our hearts and minds with the love we feel for each other as well as for the place known as the Lakes Region. This adventure will be about discovering the community; getting to know the people and further exploring the lake and splendid nature that stretches for miles and miles.

What really happened for us during this vacation was the realization that we can indeed make the move to the Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro region. After enjoying wonderful moments this time with our friends, the Posts from Connecticut and our family from Pelham, NY, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, we know that home for us is wherever we are together. So why not be in a place where we can enjoy nature, people, family and friends? While we may or may not be finished with working full-time when we find a home and settle six months a year in New Hampshire, one thing is for sure the feelings of happiness and joy that fill our days and nights when we’re there – will hug us until we can breathe no more. The timeline is evolving – but the goal is clear: New Hampshire will be home for at least six months out of the year.

Why is summer so short?

Just before July 4th and a few weeks after Labor Day, we bask in a time that should be filled with moments we remember for a lifetime. There are vacations we plan for months and day trips and weekends to spend with friends and family. It all goes so very fast.

It seems that July 4th to Labor Day passes by in a flash. The Haddonfield July 4th parade is like many small-town parades: the little ones decorate their bicycles with red, white and blue streamers, the string band plays, the classic cars bring up the rear of this parade and many neighbors get together to present themed displays. The best this year was the Roberts Avenue group. About 20 people were dressed as zombies and did a well-choreographed dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The float behind the dancers was a makeshift graveyard with a large tombstone announcing’ 2012 Phillies – RIP.” Sad, but true.

Now is the time when I wish time would just slow down. There are a lot of boating days on the Chesapeake, sailing days off Brigantine and a mini-vacation to enjoy. In a blink, Adam will be packing up for Widener and summers may never be the same. But there are many more summers to enjoy in different ways; there are still so many places to discover and enjoy! Bring it on.

The Finale

Not wasting a minute of our final day here in Moultonborough, we quickly planned a day on the lake. After a quick breakfast, the serene water pulled me in. Doug and I went for an awesome canoe trip to the point where we are and around the bend and one island. There were birds, bugs, rocks, a gentle breeze, warming sun, the occasional barking dog and such peace that it should be bottled and patented. If more people could experience serenity like this, there would be no toxic arguments – or at least there’d be fewer arguments.

After the ride back at the house, we tried to encourage Andrew & Adam to come with us on our last adventure on the lake for this vacation. I’d packed lunch for us all – but the boys decided they’d rather stay at the house and head out in the canoe a bit later. Believe it or not – they actually did take a canoe ride and eat lunch.

Doug and I first got some gas, then headed to a section of the lake we had not been to before. We went to the town of Glendale which included a marina, the N.H. Marine Patrol and “Snuffer” the fire rescue boat and the Lyons Den Restaurant which is supposed to be quite good. People were waiting for the place to open as we got there before noon. After a walk on shore and on the dock, we motored out, noticing all the beautiful houses – some large – some small – but all waterfront and just delightful. We headed to the shore of Ellacoya State Park. The shore was also dotted with homes; there were swimmers and boaters, but it just wasn’t quite right for what we were looking for. We continued along the lake passing Welch Island, then Sleepers Island – that actually has an old castle on it which is now someone’s home. Across from Sleepers Island was a cove where about a dozen boats were anchored in an area that had a great sandy bottom , with water shallow enough to just float around and enjoy the sun and the glorious day. We had lunch, lounged around in and out of the water; had a catch and enjoyed each other’s company. It’s also fun watching other people enjoy their family, friends and their boats.

After a couple of hours, it was time to move on. We pulled up anchor and headed around Treasure Island and back toward Rattlesnake Island. We made our way across The Broads and back toward Long Island. We were back at the house around 2:45. Unfortunately, it was time to starting the trip home by taking the boat out of the water. For the first time all week, I had mom-son time. Adam drove the boat the five-minute ride from the house to the public ramp at Long Island. It’s always easier to talk with your son with no other interruptions. That was the highlight of my day – that five-minute ride.

Adam expertly guided the boat onto the trailer with Doug acting like he was directing and airplane on the tarmac. (Quite amusing) Dinner took us to Tamarack near Weirs Beach. Doug had a craving for a lobster roll – certainly something you can’t get at home. I stuck with a salad and clam chowder (or chowdah as they say up here). I asked for lobster on the salad. I ended up with more lobster on my salad than Doug had on his lobster roll. The guys also chowed down with fried shrimp for Adam and a lobster roll for Andrew. It’s interesting to note that I have never stood in line for take-out food and faced a $73 tab. All that lobster is not cheap! But oh, is it ever good.

Now, it’s time to pack up our things along with our great memories of this wonderful place. My heart is here – I find true happiness here – I love this place – the loon will welcome us back as they always do.

Melancholy, Baby

We love vacation so much because we get to be somewhere out of our element; experience things we don’t see or do at home and enjoy the company of people we care about. In all the places I’ve been in my years, there is no other place that makes me feel so happy and fulfilled. New Hampshire has become more than a vacation destination – it feels like home.

This morning, the two of us enjoyed some breakfast then took the boat out for a spin on the lake. We had no particular destination in mind, we just wanted to glide on the clear, flat water feeling the warm sun and enjoying just being here. We ended up at Bear Island where you can see what’s happening on the lake via a web cam that is live inside the house right there on the point of the island. Check it out here. I texted my brother who is back at work that we were in front of the camera – and he saw us on the boat. Very cool.

We motored over to Greg and Theresa’s house to say, “good morning” and see them and the kids which was a treat. They paddled around in the water outside their house. The morning sun was getting much warmer. We saw a very small turtle sunning himself on a rock. We gave the Breskins a lift over to cousin Barry’s house so they could pick up their shared boat for a morning spin around the lake and take the kids tubing again. We headed back to our house for some lunch.

Adam and Andrew decided THIS was the day they were going to sleep – forever. When we returned at 11:30 a.m. – they were still fast asleep. The two of them wanted to go experience Monkey Trunks, a climbing, zip-line, rope adventure located next to Fun Spot at Weirs Beach. We headed there and dropped them off so they could tire themselves out some more.

That led me to my 2 p.m. followup doctor appointment. Not a lot of news there; just confirmation that I am healing and I could consider cutting back my mondo doses of antibiotics. Enough said there.

By the time we went back to pick up the guys at Fun Spot, they were finished on Monkey Trunks and spent more time playing games at the arcade. Driving back, I just couldn’t face the refrigerator of leftovers, so we decided to eat at The Village Kitchen. Funny, all the years we’ve passed the restaurant, I thought it was called “Country Cookin’. Those letters are larger on the sign than the name “Village Kitchen.” Anyway, we found what is probably New Hampshire’s version of a local diner. It seemed there were a lot of local folks there. The food was OK; the service very nice and the total bill for four people – $49. No complaints.

The highlight of the day happened as we came home offering Andrew a boat-driving lesson. He excelled – and enjoyed. A few rain showers that passed through left a rainbow; the lake turned a beautiful shade of pink with a purple and gray sky. If only this could be home.

 

 

The Skies Clear – Finally

After nearly two full days of rain, we awoke to sunshine – finally. They say even a rainy day on vacation is better than a day at work. But in all the years we’ve been coming to New Hampshire for vacation, we have never had so much rain.

We maximized the good weather because it appears more rain will be coming. The delicious baked french toast Donna made for breakfast was a great way to start the day. Doug took Erica and Don out for their farewell boat ride since they  were heading back today. Donna went for a long walk while I packed up lunch for a planned excursion on the lake. Arline came by and decided to join us. We made the trip to Green’s Basin in about 15-20 minutes. The lake was a deep blue contrasting with the baby blue sky. So many boats were zipping by and nearly everybody waved almost as if to say, “Hey, aren’t you just loving this day after all that rain?”

We revisited the big rock in the middle of the bay which is part of a state or county park. We anchored so Andrew & Adam could take a dip in the lake and swim to the boulders. They climbed up like monkeys; talked about how they would approach their first jump  – then – AHHHHHH… there they go! They did the jump a few more times. Adam then decided he wanted to swim from where we were anchored to the other big rock in the bay. It had to be about a quarter mile. I watched every stroke. He did breast stroke, a little side stroke and freestyle – and he made it. Nice job!

Donna and I along with Andrew swam from the boat to the rock and climbed up. I wish I could have my camera with me to shoot the scene on the rock and all around me. boats were going past – and an ice cream boat came up. The boys had Ben & Jerry’s bars. By then, Donna and I decided we should make our way back to the boat for lunch. I was happy I was able to maneuver on the rock much better than last year..thanks to the new hip.

We enjoyed our lunch, then headed back to our dock for a relaxing few hours. Doug & Arline paddled around in the lake; Adam & Andrew read or played on their computers; Donna and I chatted while sunning on the dock. While Doug and Arline boated to Greg & Theresa’s house to take the kids tubing, I prepared dinner which turned out pretty well – chicken on the grill, veggies and potatoes in the oven, corn and baked beans.

We invited the other Breskins over for dessert and they ate just about everything – we had ice cream, lemon poppy pound cake, brownies, chocolate chip cookies.. almost all gone. The only odd thing that happened is we have a strange odor emanating from one spot in the kitchen. No, it’s not the trash can, under the sink, refrigerator or dishwasher. It’s just a strange smell that I hope is gone by morning.

Unfortunately, Donna will be gone in the morning. She will be flying home leaving just the four of us in this great house. The Breskins, Barry & Joan and Carol & Herb will remain – but our vacation is starting to come to a close.

The Lost Day

Rainy days and Mondays  – ah, you know the rest of the Carpenter’s ditty. Monday evening was outstanding with family getting together for a delicious meal at Canoe. I was remiss in mentioning my outstanding sister-in-law – Erica and her talented beau Don. Erica is always great with the kids and keeps the adults conversing as well. She enjoyed ordering tasty treats for the folks sitting around her last night – not to mention a great bottle of wine – (Thanks!!). Later in the evening, Don gave us a wonderful demonstration on his accordion. Now it’s not a mainstream instrument that you see every day – especially on vacation.We learned that Don has been playing since his was a child. He played a few lovely tunes that made me want to sit back and have a cigarette – except I don’;t smoke. He spent a good while showing Andrew the basics of the accordion which he really enjoyed.

A good night’s sleep led to a rainy start to Tuesday. Unfortunately, my wound from the other night showed some complications. We headed to Lakes Region General Hospital where we feared we would be tied up for hours. IN ONE HOUR – I was registered, triaged, treated and released. Now, I’m on some mega antibiotics. I’m resting this afternoon and hope to be much better tomorrow.

As we move toward another dinner hour, the skies are at last, clearing. Friend, Donna arrived yesterday and we’ll enjoy our first meal with Doug, the boys and me and whoever else pops in for the evening! Donna was gracious to drive Adam & Andrew to Fun Spot near Weirs Beach. Doug went to hang out with Greg, Theresa and the kids. Now, it’s time for the healing to begin – again.

Let’s take a ride on the boat – the sky is clearing and the sun is setting on another day in paradise.

Another Week at the Lake

We said sad farewells to mom, dad, Steve & Sue at 9 this morning. Their first visit to New Hampshire was filled with exploration, good food, laughter and family time. Now, the tide turns to the second week for visits by more friends and family.

After a ride into Meredith this morning for some errands, I returned for lunch with Doug, Andrew and Adam. Cousins Sean and Shelley were a short ride away spending today through Tuesday morning with us. Adam and Andrew went out with Doug for a boat driving lesson. Sean and Shelley arrived. It was so nice to welcome THEM for a change. We are always welcomed by them to their condo in Brigantine – now it’s our turn. After they unpacked, Doug too all but Shelley out on the boat to treat Andrew to some tubing. Sean loved snapping shots of Andrew skipping with speed across the lake in the tube. His face was frozen in a perfect smile loving the thrill of the ride. I drove the boat while Doug water-skied a little.

Happy hour brought the snacks and drinks out. Doug and Sean took a ride to find Cousin Barry & Joan’s house and welcome them to NH. Dinner comes soon. Lobster dinner was outstanding. the $5.79 per pound lobster was cooked up by Doug. The lobster was accompanied by sweet NH corn on the cob and salad. Adam and Shelley enjoyed fresh salmon on the grill.

Dessert at Greg & Theresa’s house was a great time to visit with the young Breskins. Everyone was a bit tired so we called it a night early after playing some games with the kids and enjoying some sweets and wine.

Monday brings rain, rain – and wait for it – more rain. We have NEVER been in New England when an entire day was a wash out. Today was that day – and here at 8:30 p.m. – the rain continues. It’s likely we’ll have more rain into Tuesday – but we have high hopes for clearing skies.

As with any vacation, you make lemonade. I headed to the gym to stretch my knee a little. Donna arrived later morning and then headed off to explore the Center Harbor/Moultonborough area on her own. Because of the rain, we cancelled plans for the family dinner at the Town Docks and arranged plan B making a reservation for 18 at Canoe – a terrific restaurant in Center Harbor. Doug and I ate at Canoe last week.

Before dinner, we loaded up everyone in the cars and went to Moultonborough Store. I picked up a few games for the kids to enjoy at the restaurant. By 4:30 we were back in the cars and headed to Canoe.

Family dinners can be disasters or they can be glorious. We enjoyed the latter at a table for 18 at Canoe. Our wait staff Shen (short for Shenandoah) and Steven were wonderful. From lobster mac and cheese to scallops and burgers, we enjoyed wonderful food while dabbling in conversation with family we just don’t see so often. Watching everyone enjoy each others’ company and talk, laugh and eat good food is just something to be so completely happy about.

Enjoying the children, event the grownups and just being together is what this vacation is all about. Tomorrow, Sean and Shelley travel on to Ogunquit, Maine; Donna will come to our house to stay for two nights and hopefully – the rain will stop.